X79R-AX Deluxe Firmware
As ECS continues developing its firmware, we’re looking at a product that appears nearly perfect and full of value. Of course, appearances can be somewhat deceptive.
The M.I.B. X main menu provides all of the chipest ratio and voltage controls we require, disappointing us only in that those voltage settings are represented by added or subtracted voltage, rather than fixed-mode values.
The CPU Overclocking submenu includes base and Turbo Boost ratios, along with voltage increases for Turbo Boost and current limit overrides.
Memory ratio, primary, and secondary timings are also available from the Memory Overclocking submenu.
All of those options should be enough to get us to the limits of our CPU, or at least this board. However, the shipping firmware’s inability to support our C2-stepping processor put a wrench in our overclocking plans. ECS did hurry to send us a replacement firmware, which did the trick, but presented us with a couple of other issues.
Yes, the replacement UEFI worked. But giving ECS another shot after our cut-off date for submissions would have forced us to re-do all testing on the other five boards as well. Plus, there's the fact that end-users don't have the luxury of swapping out a new C2-based processor for a C1 chip to flash a new firmware. This is a compatibility issue that'll create sticky situations until all of the X79R-AX boards available include ECS' latest build. The consolation that we offered was a chance to participate in our benchmark suite using the older C1-stepping CPU. We simply couldn't count our overclocking attempts on two different processors, though.